A Rather Tedious Update but with Pictures of Hands

My weekend has consisted of 15 hour sleeps. Yes. 15 hours. And I still wake up exhausted.

The good thing is I am starting to feel like I’m coming out of the extreme fatigue and moving into just plain ol’ fatigue. I am up and around more and getting more things done around the house, but I rest after every accomplishment. My parents are still here so Mom can help me out… they will leave on Wednesday.

The bad thing is that I fall asleep about 15 minutes into the Olympics every night. And y’all, I cannot tell you how much I love the Olympics and how sad I am that I am missing everything! And poor Brian. He’s missing out on all my sobfests whenever we win the gold, which apparently is a lot. Go USA!

It will take roughly 6-8 weeks before I feel normal again, which is rather laughable considering we have no idea what “normal” is anymore. In the meantime, we know to expect a gradual increase in energy, emotional stability and body temperature.

As for my future. Well… there’s a lot ahead. Over the month of March I have 6 appointments and follow-ups. On March 2nd I have a diagnostic scan for followup on the breast cancer to check for recurrence, so I feel like I am on an emotional roller coaster. Can I just tell y’all how Satan has been attacking and plaguing me with fear?! I have little strength to fight the voices in my head that say, “Two weeks. Two weeks is all the celebration you have and then the other shoe will drop and they’ll say they see something, because, after all, that IS the story of your life.”

And the nightmares set in. The suffocating compressions on my chest in the black of night. The memories of all the pain and brutality of chemo and radiation and I think, “I can’t. I can’t do it all again. Please, God, don’t let it happen again. Please?” And I wake up clawing at the air, tears streaming down my face, and I reach out to feel for Brian.

It never wakes him. I don’t want to wake him. I just need something tangible to touch. To remind me that God is near. Then through the soft light streaming in windows I look at the face of my husband, and I weep for him. For the lines I see in his face that weren’t there 3 years ago, and I beg God to spare him any more of this. He is so tired, y’all, so very tired. He has been so faithful, y’all, so very faithful.

Beyond all this there are other follow-ups, all “just to be sure”. I have another iron infusion scheduled in April because my blood levels are so anemic. My body is just plum tuckered.

And then there are my hands. Do you want to see?

That is my left hand. And yes, my very beautiful wedding ring. See that sapphire wrap? Bri bought that for me on the 5 year anniversary of our engagement. His love language is NOT gifts. That makes this wrap even more meaningful. And as beautiful as it is, it’s not because of it’s beauty that I love it… it’s because of the beauty of my Bri’s love and even deeper of our Savior’s love for us. But I digress…

My right hand is swollen. Very swollen. It’s called lymphedema. It’s a result of the number of lymph nodes that were removed in my surgeries. And it’s painful. Very painful. There is fluid all around my joints. And it requires physical therapy. I haven’t gotten to physical therapy yet, because I can’t figure out how to manage that with all the other appointments. So I’m wearing this…
And singing Michael Jackson songs all day long whenever I do. Okay. Not really. Never was much of an MJ fan. My husband is shuddering right now… how could I NOT love the King of Pop?! Anyway, it’s called a compression glove and it helps keep the swelling compressed. But it also makes writing (which is a huge part of my life) and typing very difficult.

And the children. They are clingy and weepy. Sunday we went to Sunday School and Asher cried when we left him. Then we were planning to attend part of the service, but not all because of my fatigue. My parents would bring the children home, and Bri would take me home after the music. But when the time came for us to leave, Bear climbed on my lap and sobbed in his quiet Bear sort of way. “I don’t want you to ever leave me.” he whispered. So I sat through the whole service and snuggled him on my lap, because I couldn’t do it to him. We are all a mess, basically. Just a mess.

Sooooo… can you guess how I feel? I feel like everyone expects us to be crazy jumping over the moon excited that the cancer is gone.

We know for now that the cancer is gone. We are thankful. We are praising God.

But it’s all in a reserved, quiet celebration kind of way.

Because it’s not over. There are more tests and lots more recovery ahead, and it is exhausting to think through it all.

But we are together.

We are clinging to truth.

We are clinging to Him.

And we are cancer free.

Even if it’s just for two weeks.

We’re still cancer free.

But we still need your prayers.

And we still need His strength.

7 responses to “A Rather Tedious Update but with Pictures of Hands”

  1. So often you remind me to love every moment. And as cliche as that may sound, it means more than I can say.

    Peace to you, friend.

    Continued prayers to you and yours for that strength you so badly need.


  2. I will be praying as you face many appointments and such; recovery is sometimes the hardest because your body is using all the energy to repair it self that there is not much energy left to do what is needed (believe me, I am feeling that right now!) As Burress told me yesterday, don’t feel bad sleeping so much and sleeping so long–(I find myself sleeping long into the morning and then napping 4 hrs later for 3 hrs!) The body needs rest to recuperate and return to “normal” (what is that again?? ) So grateful your parents can stay to help. I’m sending my love and prayers to you and your family. Miss seeing you and can’t wait to see you in church (when I feel strong enough to stay for the whole service )

    God be your Refuge and your Strength! Love you!
    Hugs and Love,


  3. judieyoung@hotmail.com Avatar

    My precious Angie,

    I have been praying for you.

    My dear one I am so thankful that He has delivered you and will continue to deliver you. May His grace abound to Brian in this walk with you and strengthen him in the innerman that Christ will dwell in Him by faith. As I hear the pain and the fears, my heart goes out to you in this struggle to walk in Him and to know the victory you have.

    God bless you, you are feeding many and for this we are all grateful. He is revealing Himself in and through you.

    Love and blessings,


  4. I’m so happy for you but didn’t realize how much more you are going through. One day at a time. You are always in my prayers.


  5. Emily Massengill Avatar
    Emily Massengill

    I often pray that you will be cancer free, forever! I know God is good, though, whatever the outcome. But still, I pray for many years of rejoicing at each clear scan!


  6. You can count on the prayers, girl! COUNT ON THEM!:)


  7. You know, it is amazing how very little we know about what you go through. Unless you have been on this journey personally, I don’t think you can really grasp it.

    So for all of us out there, I want to say I appreciate you telling us. I understand now why you are not “jumping for joy,” and why your celebration is quiet.

    But I am also glad that you have begun to feel less fatigued, even though you are still totally fatigued. 🙂 Does that make any sense?

    Good luck with your appointments. I’ll be thinking of you, as always!


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